There has been some recent football news to report too, like the signing of Jeremy Maclin (Baltimore) and Eric Decker (Tennessee). Ben Roethlisberger called Martavis Bryant, who has long been one of my favorite sleepers/breakouts/undervalues, a stud out on the gridiron. Oh, and it looks like Christian Hackenberg could be gaining ground on Josh McCown as the No. 1 quarterback in New York. All right, so all of the news isn’t great for fantasy (or Jets) fans, but whatever. With mock drafts now open on NFL.com (go join one or many …now!), here’s my latest one-man, five-rounder.
While the first round hasn’t changed that much, you will see some serious movers and shakers over picks 11-50 (I’m looking at you, Tyreek Hill, Isaiah Crowell and cheap nba jerseys and Joe Mixon). So grab your favorite summertime beverage, kick up your feet by the pool or hot tub and read about how the first five rounds of your fantasy draft could look. Or not. There will be plenty more mocks to come!
Who is Terrelle Pryor? I love the mystery. We have so much more to see out of him. This is a guy who bet on himself with a one-year contract, but he’s got one big thing working for him: As a former quarterback, he knows what his quarterbacks are seeing and feeling on the field. It reminds me of Steve Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” which describes for women a man’s perspective on relationships — it’s so beneficial to be able to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Pryor played quarterback his entire life, yet in his first full year as a wide receiver, he notched 1,000 yards in Cleveland last season, which had five signal callers on the field at various points.
Pryor’s intangibles make me excited to see what he’s going to do in Washington. His athleticism and ability to separate from receivers will greatly benefit Kirk Cousins, who’s been better than average the last two seasons. If I’m Cousins, I’m looking at a brand new toy — not a Hot Wheel, but a Tonka truck.
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Bill Belichick is no stranger to dueling shutdown corners. During the 2014 Super Bowl run he paired a 29-year-old Darrelle Revis with a pre-collapse Brandon Browner. Before that, it was Aqib Talib and a Swiss army rotation of corners who are mostly all now on to second contracts with other clubs or out of the game entirely.
But Gilmore/Butler represents one of the only times Belichick has had two such players in the athletic prime of their careers. Gilmore, a former Bills first-round pick, is just 26 while Butler is 27. Had Belichick allowed himself to be emotionally swayed every now and then, the temptation to lock Butler up alongside Gilmore to age 30 would have been tempting.
During his football camp in New Jersey on Saturday, he told ESPN that he feels better than he’s ever felt before the start of a season.
“I think this might be the most [I’ve been ready] in my lifetime,” said Beckham. “In every which way, I just feel it there… I’ve really been training, and to have these next six weeks to get another opportunity to train, it’s going to be great.
To give you an idea of what such a draft will look like for 2017, here are the results of our in-house draft at NFL.com. The league is comprised of 12 teams and uses a PPR scoring system that rewards players for return yards and touchdowns. Each team is allowed to roster 24 players (10 starters) along with two reserve spots. Remember, these players were all drafted with the intent of being retained on an unlimited basis. So unlike traditional fantasy football, choosing poorly can have serious long-term repercussions … think “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
Out of the tens of millions of people who participate in fantasy football, most play in re-draft leagues. That’s where you select a new roster before each season. Many of the diehards (or fantasy nerds like me) also participate in leagues that more closely resemble the actual NFL, where you have one “traditional” draft followed by yearly rookie drafts. That’s what we call a “dynasty” league.
The career backup has been inactive, cut, promised a chance to compete, scrubbed from the roster and forced to watch many starting quarterbacks in his 11 seasons. Stanton, a second-round pick in 2007, doesn’t view the current trend of developing as a solution to the quarterback problem in the NFL. The 33-year-old specifically believes the current inactive rule hurts the development of young players.
“It’s so hard to develop as a quarterback in this league nowadays,” Stanton said, via ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. “The NFL is, unfortunately, heading into a bad trend. When I first got in the league, you could be an inactive third on game day like I was when I was younger. That transitions into now, they’re trying to save spots and get guys to the practice squad.”